This page is part of a three-piece project consisting of a basic skirt and three different bodices. While the other two are made for evening wear and attending a ball, this one was designed less formal occasions. Combining several bodices with one skirt was a commonly used method for saving fabric. In addition, I sewed two overskirts to vary the look of the bottom half as well.
The long-sleeved bodices for everyday follow more simple lines and do not include a lot of decoration in comparison to elaborate evening gowns. In order to minimize the amount of visible skin, some fabric could be inserted into the neckline. Following the design elements of the skirt, I added some buttons covered in fabric. By adding a layer of black cotton lining, it was possible to insert some boning.
However, there should not be any pressure on the outer layers due to the corset worn underneath. Therefore, the buttons are non-functional and the bodice is closed in front with hooks and eyes instead. To protect the garments from my skin, I wear a linen chemise with an adjustable neckline.
The overall look of the skirt is dominated by the outlines of a bustle with steel boning, which is softened with a petticoat and an additional pad on top. In contrast to the bell-shaped styles of earlier dresses, 1870s skirts were more narrow and accentuate the rear area.
This style does not require a lot of jewelry. On the photos, I only wear a piece of fabric round my neck and a decorated purse that is attached to the skirt. All layers were completely made by myself. Have a look at the other variations as well: evening and ball bodice.